Lactose Content of Alternative Cheeses

I really love Buffalo Mozzarella, particularly the one made locally in Maleny. Well I had a pizza with Buffalo Mozzarella for dinner about 3 weeks ago and I was sick for 3 days. I am lactose intolerant but I normally still can eat hard cheeses without any bother. So it turns out that I am having a problem with fats. My Gall Bladder was not happy.

After a few days I was feeling well again so I made a recipe from a great vegetarian cookbook (Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi) that my sister in the UK sent me for Christmas. I made Broccilini with Rice Noodles (with Coconut Milk – Fat Reduced). I stupidly thought this would be fine…… ha ha ha. 12 hours later I felt the effect. Which wasn’t too horrible really, in comparison…

That’s when I sent off an email to Coeliac Australia and asked about what different animals milk and cheeses contains lactose and how that then reduced during the process of making the cheese.  Annabelle Mackenzie, BSc Hons Biochemistry, BSc (Med) Hons Nutrition & Dietetics, M Nutrition, Accredited Practising Dietitian and TECHNICAL & ENDORSEMENT OFFICER  for Coeliac Australia was very happy to answer my questions.

So this is the response I received from Annabelle…

The lactose content of various milk sources are very similar, in that they range between 4-5%.  When making cheese 98% of this lactose is lost when pouring off the whey, leaving the remaining 2% in the curd, which  used to make cheese.  Depending on the aging and type of fermenting agent used, the content of lactose will differ.  The general rule is that the harder and more aged a cheese is, the less lactose will be present, as it has been broken down by the fermenting agent.  Below is a brief outline of the lactose content of various products, where you will see that cheese in general is very low in lactose, with exception of buffalo milk mozzarella, only because a the cheese still contains a lot of the whey and is soaked in the whey while stored to maintain its soft consistency.

 

Product g lactose/100g
Regular cows milk

4.8g/100g

Reduced fat cows milk

5.2g/100g

Goats Milk

4g/100g

Buffalo Milk

4.8g/100g

Yoghurt

4.5g/100g

Low Fat Yoghurt

6g/100g

Ricotta

2g/100g

Cheddar Cheese

0.06g/100g

Cottage Cheese

0.33g/100g

Brie

0.16g/100g

Goats milk cheese

0.7g/100g

Buffalo milk mozzarella

1.1g/100g

Parmesan

0.01/100g

 

Essentially with lactose intolerance one can still tolerate a small amount of lactose per day, without experiencing the symptoms.    Research shows that the threshold of minimum tolerance is 50g of lactose per day, however each individual is different and can deviate slightly from this finding.  Considering how low the levels of lactose are in cheeses, a small amount 30-60g per day should be tolerated.  Goats milk and buffalo milk cheeses do offer various health benefits in being lower in cholesterol and saturated fats, however they are not necessarily lower in lactose that their cow’s milk equivalents.  That being stated, they are still very low in lactose and should be tolerated when consumed in small amounts.

I asked if I could put this information up on my website and Coeliac Australia said yes. Thanks.

I think this information is great and I hope it helps out a few other people with lactose intolerance.

So I removed all fats, yep ALL FATS!  So for the last 3 weeks have been trying to make some interesting recipes that normally have fats in them.

For a test I re-made the Broccilini with Rice Noodles but made it using coconut water instead instead of milk. The flavours were all still yummy and it still tasted great with all those fresh Thai ingredients in it. I did miss that extra creamy texture that the milk or cream gives it and it was a lot more watery. I will post the recipe up because if you are ever in my boat  it’s really good to have some alternatives up your sleeve.

 

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